The Sinocism China Newsletter 01.26.17-Happy Chinese New Year! 鸡年大吉!

I am looking forward to saying goodbye to the Year of the Monkey (my 本命年 / “birth year”, supposedly always a tough year) and welcoming the Year of the Rooster. The PRC is basically shut down for the next week so there may not be a new issue of the newsletter until early February, unless Trump decides to finally announce something specific against the PRC.

Thanks for sticking with me over an inconsistent year and I wish everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful New Year! 鸡年大吉!

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

1. Chinese leaders extend Spring Festival greetings – Xinhua President Xi Jinping, on behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, extended Spring Festival greetings to all Chinese Thursday at a reception in Beijing. Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered his speech to a gathering at the Great Hall of the People, greeting all Chinese in the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and abroad. The reception was presided over by Li Keqiang. Other leaders including Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli were also present. // Comment: 1.26.17 CCTV Evening News on the event 中共中央国务院举行春节团拜会 习近平发表重要讲话 Odds President Trump issues Chinese/Lunar New Year’s greetings like President Obama did?

Related: Xi spreads love in New Year speech – China Daily Love should reach to every family and bring warmth to all Chinese like a spring breeze blowing across the nation, he said in his speech ahead of the Lunar New Year, which starts on Saturday. “The Chinese people have always valued love and high morality,” Xi told his audience at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, which included senior government officials, military officers, renowned artists and ethnic community leaders.

Related: 中央电视台春节联欢晚会准备就绪 刘云山看望慰问演职人员_CCTV Comment: 1.26.17 CCTV Evening News visit to CCTV to inspect preparations for Friday night’s CCTV Spring Festival Gala show, which will also be streamed free online. The dancing chicken skit looks interesting, also dancing Uighurs, looks like more Yakexi [Good] on this year’s spring gala…

Related: 除夕夜京城将达六级严重污染综合新京报网 Comment: Beijing issues air quality forecast for the city over the first 6 days of the Chinese New Year, expect heavy pollution Friday night into Saturday from all the fireworks

2. Trump’s China Policy: ‘This Is How You Stumble Into a Crisis’ | Foreign Policy At the Pentagon, the unpredictable and bellicose talk has rattled some senior officers. Top commanders had expected the new president to loosen constraints on military operations across the board, including allowing more frequent and more aggressive naval and air patrols in the South China Sea — something U.S. Pacific Command had long requested of the Obama White House. Still, military leaders are not keen on provoking tensions with China or threatening a naval blockade that Washington won’t be ready to enforce.

Related: Setting up US-China Ties in a New Administration: A Conversation with Evan Medeiros by CSIS In this episode, we welcome Dr. Evan Medeiros back to the ChinaPower Podcast, to provide us with a behind the scenes look at how US-China relations were managed during the last presidential transition and discuss the possible challenges in the US-China relationship in the first year of the Trump Administration.

Related: Isn’t One China Enough?-War on the Rocks In this episode of Pacific Pundit, we think through the implications of President Trump’s words and deeds for the U.S. “One China” policy.  Our historical segment explores Henry Kissinger’s negotiation with China’s Chou Enlai to establish the Shanghai Communique—the foundation of modern U.S. relations with China.  In expert interviews, we get Mira Rapp-Hooper (Center for a New American Security) and Dean Cheng (The Heritage Foundation) to weigh in with advice on how to navigate China-Taiwan relations during the Trump administration.  And in a recently declassified National Intelligence Estimate from 1999, we discover what the CIA believed China’s “red lines” were for Taiwan.

Related: The South China Sea – Some Fundamental Strategic Principles | Center for Strategic and International Studies the CSIS Southeast Asia Program, directed by Dr. Amy Searight, worked in collaboration with other Asia colleagues at CSIS—Dr. Michael Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair; Dr. Zack Cooper, Fellow, Japan Chair; Bonnie Glaser, Senior Adviser for Asia and Director, China Power Project; Andrew Shearer, Senior Adviser on Asia-Pacific Security; and Greg Poling, Director Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative—to provide the analytical context and some fundamental principles that should guide strategic thinking on South China Sea policy.

Related: Managing Cross-Strait Relations in 2017 | Center for Strategic and International Studies – Bonnie Glaser Recommendations for the Trump Administration…The Trump administration should build on the significant achievements made by prior U.S. administrations to strengthen ties with Taiwan. An internal policy review should be conducted to evaluate what elements of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship can and should be improved. This could include consideration of loosening restrictions on some long-standing restrictions on official and military exchanges. However, the principle that the U.S.-Taiwan relationship is an unofficial relationship should not be compromised because it would trigger a strong reaction from Beijing and would put Taiwan’s security in jeopardy.

Related: Fake Trump Tweets Become Internet Sensation in China | Hollywood Reporter Users are flocking to websites that let them generate images of fake tweets that look just like those sent from U.S. President Donald Trump’s distinctive personal Twitter account — replete with his avatar and a real-time timestamp. — @realdonaldtrump would like to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year. — @realdonaldtrump thinks Shanghai Jiaotong University is better than its crosstown rival. — @realdonaldtrump wants to buy a jianbing (typical Chinese street food) and wants Mexico to pay for it.

Related: 中国正在重返世界舞台中央(望海楼)–观点–人民网 Comment: Zhang Weiwei writes the 1.27.17 “Haiwang Lou” column in People’s Daily Overeas Edition on China returning to the center of the world stage  //  中国正大踏步地重返世界舞台中央。世界看到了中华民族实现中国梦的伟大前景,看到了真正的道路自信和文化自信,看到了中国软硬实力的全面崛起,看到了中国领导人在历史发展的关键时刻所展示的远见、勇气和担当。这一切,改变了中国,震撼了世界,必将深刻地影响未来国际秩序的演变。崛起的中国,将继续在经济全球化进程中搏击风浪,引领经济全球化的新浪潮,为人类作出更大的贡献,中国重返世界舞台中央的伟大进程也会因此而变得更为壮阔。

3. Chinese Government’s Path into Silicon Valley — The Information $$ “There will be more and more Chinese local governments’ money heading into Silicon Valley,” said Wei Luo, the chief operating officer for Beijing’s ZGC Capital Corp. ZGC is part of Zhongguancun Development Group, a state-owned industrial developer behind the area where major tech companies like Lenovo and Microsoft have Beijing offices. He said the firm wants to raise $500 million in next five years to invest both in funds and early and growth-stage companies in the U.S. The funds typically don’t advertise their links to Chinese government agencies. Complicating the picture, they have a bewildering array of corporate structures connecting them to the government. What’s clear is that their limited partners are all either state-owned enterprises or government entities, whose funding is dependent on following Chinese government policy. // Comment: No wonder some members of Congress wrote a letter to the GAO in September 2016 asking about increasing the scope of CFIUS reviews and specifically mentioning PRC VC/angel investments. The pdf of the letter is here

Related: Crafting an Action-Driven Response to China’s Digital Trade Barriers – AEI – Claude Barfield China’s digital Great Firewall and the new National Security and Cybersecurity Laws threaten vital high-technology sectors of the US economy. While the US and China have vital economic and diplomatic interests in common, the US should challenge China’s digital trade barriers. The new administration could do so by establishing digital economic and security issues as a top priority for dialogues with China, establishing an Office of Trade Enforcement in the Office of the US Trade Representative, initiating a World Trade Organization case against China’s Great Firewall, and being prepared to take reciprocity-based trade and investment retaliation.

Related: Ant Financial pushes into US with Moneygram acquisition-TechInAsia The deal sees Ant Financial, a spin-off from online shopping giant Alibaba and the company behind China’s popular Alipay app, snap up Texas-based Moneygram, founded back in 1988, for a premium over its US$633 million valuation on NASDAQ. // Comment: CFIUS should look at this deal

4. W.H.O. Warns of Worrisome Bird Flu in China – The New York Times Several strains of avian flu are spreading in Europe and Asia this winter, but the most worrisome at present is an H7N9 strain that has circulated in China every winter since 2013. China has reported over 225 human cases since September, an unusually high number. The nation’s Lunar New Year vacation starts soon, and as it does, live poultry shipments increase, and holiday travelers often spread the flu.

5. Increased Interbank Borrowing Causes Concern – Caixin “No one in the banks knows where the money they invested in other banks’ wealth management plans ended up,” an official from the central bank said. “They could not tell because the selling bank itself used the funds to buy other banks’ wealth management plans.” Taken together, it means banks were trading with each other. To the extent that their investments did not benefit the real economy at all, they were like engines unattached to any weight — “idling,” the official called it. “We did not pay much attention to interbank wealth management in the past because it did not seem like there was much risk,” he said.

Related: China Said to Order Banks to Curb New Loans in First Quarter – Bloomberg The new guidance from the People’s Bank of China puts a particular emphasis on mortgage lending, the people said, as authorities grapple to contain runaway property prices. And while the PBOC regularly seeks to guide banks’ credit decisions, this time it may also make errant lenders pay more for deposit insurance, one of the people said.

6. China’s banking regulator issues guidelines on outbound investment | Reuters The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) instructed commercial banks to bolster their risk and compliance management for offshore investment projects, and improve their supervision of anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing activities. The CBRC in the guidance also told the banks to improve credit risk management of cross-border business and strengthen due diligence and post-loan management.// Comment: Anyone at the IMF now regret the decision to include the RMB in the SDR basket?

Related:  China’s Army of Global Homebuyers Is Suddenly Short on Cash – Bloomberg Less than a month after China announced fresh curbs on overseas payments, anecdotal reports from realtors, homeowners and developers suggest the restrictions are already weighing on the world’s biggest real estate buying spree. While no one expects Chinese demand to disappear anytime soon, the clampdown is deterring first-time buyers who lack offshore assets and the expertise to skirt tighter capital controls.

Related:  International yuan payment drops sharply in 2016 on depreciation and capital control | South China Morning Post The value of international renminbi payments fell 29.5 per cent in 2016

Related:  China Merchants Bank tightens rules for mainlanders opening HK accounts | Reuters China Merchants Bank (CMB) will next week sharply tighten eligibility rules for mainlanders to open accounts at its Hong Kong branches, the latest move by Chinese lenders to curb capital outflows as Beijing steps up efforts to temper a slide in the yuan.

7. China’s Outdated Foreign Service Needs Rebooting for the Age of Trump | Foreign Policy China’s population is bursting with young, internationalized talent and charm. But the country’s diplomatic corps continues to come across as silent, passive, isolated, and boring, except when they are coming across as aggressive (often without meaning to). I have sat in conference rooms observing Chinese diplomats at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where I previously worked as a consultant to the Office of the Under Secretary General, and I have seen how accurate that image is. At meetings with counterparties, Chinese diplomats often go directly to their seats, only talking to each other, with no interaction or greetings with delegates from other countries. They are usually silent, except on those occasions when they read China’s position aloud from prepared scripts. When meetings are over, they usually make straight for the exits; rarely are they seen at networking events and receptions inside the UN compound. If they do attend, they often stand in the corners and talk to each other or to a handful of diplomat friends they’ve know for a long time.

8. China Premier Li Keqiang: ‘Economic Openness Serves Everyone Better’ – Bloomberg How China plans to face a world of uncertainties. by Li Keqiang…In a world with a plethora of uncertainties, China offers an anchor of stability and growth with its consistent message of support for reform, openness, and free trade. The times may be difficult. But that’s all the more reason not to lose sight of these principles, which have stood China—and the world—in good stead. //Comment: Bloomberg has done a textbook job restoring itself to relatively good graces with the PRC government. Anyone know how terminal sales inside the PRC have been since Bloomberg effectively gave up on its coverage of senior leadership corruption?


AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

Trump Candidacy Grounded Coveted China Project – WSJ The plan, according a former Trump Organization representative in China, was to put the Trump brand on a hotel in a Shanghai development that was conceived by an American investment group that included actor Robert DeNiro. The hotel will anchor a restoration off Shanghai’s riverfront Bund where century-old buildings are being turned into a cultural destination, including a​venue for Jazz at Lincoln Center. Mr. DeNiro’s partnership is no longer involved in the Bund restoration. A role for Mr. Trump’s business was never publicly announced but was “99%” certain before local authorities nixed its participation, said Robby Qiu, who until recently ran the Trump Organization’s hospitality division in China. “They couldn’t afford the political risk,” he said.

PBOC Set to Be First to Issue Digital Bills – Caixin According to sources from the PBOC, the central bank on Dec. 15 completed the trial in transactions and settlements of bank acceptance bills using a digital currency it developed, supported by blockchain technology – a secure digital ledger that records online transactions. The central bank’s digital acceptance exchange and currency system were put in place and connected for the test run with several commercial banks, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and the private WeBank, the sources said.

Credit China invests $30 mln in U.S. blockchain firm Bitfury | Reuters Bitfury, a U.S. infrastructure provider of bitcoin and private blockchains, announced on Thursday that Credit China FinTech Holdings Ltd has invested $30 million in the company.

Chinese SOE profits edge up in 2016 – Xinhua Combined profits of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) rose 1.7 percent year on year in 2016, a sharp contrast to the 6.7-percent drop in 2015, official data showed Thursday. Last year, total SOE profits stood at 2.32 trillion yuan (about 338 billion U.S. dollars), the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

Hard times ahead for China’s economy, says Alibaba’s Jack Ma | South China Morning Post “In the coming three to five years … the economic situation will be even more arduous than everyone had expected,” said the e-commerce billionaire on Wednesday at an annual meeting of the General Association of Zhejiang Entrepreneurs, a private business association that he chairs.

Voltage Pictures Sues Xinke Over Busted Deal | Variety In November, it appeared that Voltage Pictures would be the latest company to pull off a lucrative sale to a Chinese buyer. Anhui Xinke New Materials announced it would buy 80% of the company, which produced both “The Dallas Buyers Club” and “The Hurt Locker,” for a healthy $345 million. But in December, the deal suddenly collapsed, with Xinke alleging that Voltage had failed to provide adequate documentation to Chinese regulators.

President Donald Trump Picks Kenneth Juster for Key International Economics Post – WSJ Mr. Juster’s expertise as a former undersecretary of commerce in charge of the now-renamed Export Administration Bureau fits into Mr. Trump’s emphasis on export-led economic growth. At Commerce, he advocated an export regime that limited controls while still protecting national security through transfer of sensitive technology overseas. He also had a hand in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., a multiagency panel that reviews foreign acquisitions of U.S. assets for national security threats.

China warned of risk to banks from One Belt, One Road initiative-FT $$ “The lack of commercial imperatives behind Obor projects means that it is highly uncertain whether future project returns will be sufficient to fully cover repayments to Chinese creditors,” Fitch said on Thursday.


AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW *

Interpretation on Criminal Cases such as those of Organizing or Exploiting Cults to Undermine The Implementation of Law The following interpretation on several issues regarding the applicable law in cases of using or exploiting cults to undermine the implementation of law is made on the basis of the relevant provisions of the “People’s Republic of China Criminal Law” and the People’s Republic of China Criminal Procedure Law” for the purpose of punishing such crimes: Article 1: Unlawful organizations established falsely under the name religion or Qigong, deifying or aggrandizing their principals, using methods such as the production and dissemination of superstitious fallacies to beguile and deceive others, developing and controlling membership, and endangering society, shall be designated as “cult organizations” as used in article 300 of the Criminal Law. // Comment: Has this definition been broadened?

NGOs in China: Implementing the Overseas NGO Law – 26 NGOs register in Beijing and Guangdong The Beijing NGOs include familiar names like the World Economic Forum, Save the Children, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Paulson Foundation. The Guangdong NGOs include the Hong Kong Chinese General Chamber of Commerce (Guangzhou), the Federation of Hong Kong Industries (Shenzhen), and the Taiwan Trade Center (Guangzhou).

Shooting-Gallery Owner Has Sentence for Gun Possession Reduced – Caixin An appeal court commuted Zhao Chunhua’s earlier sentence of 3 1/2 years in prison, handed down after six of the weapons used for recreational purposes at her stall were identified by police as real guns. The Tianjin No.1 Intermediate People’s Court said the 51-year-old was granted leniency because she had no intention of using the weapons to harm others. But it maintains she is guilty of illegal possession of firearms, according to a statement posted on the court’s official Sina microblog. Owning a nonmilitary gun is a crime punishable by up to seven years under Chinese law.

China abandoning rule of law, human rights lawyers say | The Guardian In a letter to the Guardian, a group of leading lawyers and judges from the US, Europe and Australia expressed “grave concern” over the detention and treatment of legal professionals. The authors – which include former French justice minister Robert Badinter as well as British human rights lawyers Michael Mansfield QC and Clive Stafford Smith – called on China to release “the detained or arrested lawyers and others held with them”, describing their detention as “without legal basis”.

Chinese liberal think tank’s days were numbered, director says | South China Morning Post The sudden removal from the internet of a prominent private think tank lead by liberal economist Mao Yushi was likely long-planned by the authorities, rather than the result of an individual incident, his associate said.


AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

General Warns of North Korean Missile Threat, Talks China Visit | Military.com “We have to find what we have in common … so you can talk about the differences. If you just talk differences, you are never going to get past that,” Brown said, adding that he has a “great relationship” with leaders in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. “In my 30-plus years in the Pacific, and 36 years in the military, I have never seen stronger ties throughout the region … for me, that is extremely encouraging.”

China gives details of items banned from export to North Korea | Reuters China released on Wednesday a new, comprehensive list of goods that can not be exported to North Korea, including many “dual use” items that can be used to build weapons of mass destruction. The publication of the list comes as international concern grows over North Korea’s nuclear program and missile development and weeks after then U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said China “won’t help” control North Korea.

China may be developing new long-range air-to-air missile | Reuters Air force researcher Fu Qianshao told the newspaper he believed the missile was designed to hit distant high-value targets, such as early warning aircraft, normally outside actual combat zones. That represents an improved capability over existing Chinese missiles, which have ranges of less than 100 km (62 miles).

People’s Liberation Army Warns of Rise in Dropouts | Sixth Tone Cases of military recruits backing out of their commitments are increasing, reported China Military Online, the news portal of the People’s Liberation Army, on Wednesday. The article said that even young Chinese who hail from the less developed central and western regions of China are starting to fear the hardships of military service, a complaint once primarily uttered by recruits from affluent areas.

Can Xi Jinping’s arms production shake-up create China’s version of Lockheed or Boeing? | South China Morning Post Group headed by President Xi Jinping aims to overhaul nation’s antiquated weapons production system and increase ties between military and industry, say analysts // Comment: Military-Industrial Complex momentum in PRC likely impossible to slow down, so much money already being made, so much more to be made

Trump nominates businessman with Asia background as Navy secretary | Reuters U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated Philip Bilden, a former military intelligence officer and private equity executive with broad experience of Asia, particularly China, as the civilian head of the U.S. Navy…Bilden emerged recently as a favorite for the position of Navy secretary over the early front-runner, former U.S. Representative Randy Forbes, a leading critic of China who chaired the House Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee.

CSIS, Defence warned Ottawa on China laser technology deal – The Globe and Mail The acquisition of ITF Technologies of Montreal by Hong Kong-based O-Net Communications is the focus of a growing controversy after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government reversed a Harper cabinet order that sought to unwind this foreign purchase.

China and Russia to collaborate on aero-engine R&D | IHS Jane’s 360 State-owned enterprises in China and Russia have agreed to collaborate on aero-engine technologies, China’s State Administration for Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) has announced.

China once again urges Singapore to abide by one-China policy – Xinhua “We hope Singapore can cooperate with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to handle the follow-up issues and take warning from the incident,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying at a daily press briefing. Nine Singaporean armored vehicles, reportedly used in military drills in Taiwan, were seized by Hong Kong customs on Nov. 23, 2016 while in transit at a dock in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

捍卫国家“网权”边疆 _政治法律 _光明网 Comment: “Defend Border Areas of China’s “Internet Sovereignty”

Hard Men in a Hard Environment: Indian Special Operators Along the Border with China-War on the Rocks The Indian Army’s concept of operations for an LAC-related contingency is also far from status quo-ist or reactive. To the contrary, it places a strong emphasis on rapidly regaining the initiative, on conducting surgical strikes deep within the Chinese interior, and on horizontal escalation across multiple different sections of the border.

What Democratization, Trade Expectations, and Military Power All Mean for the Future of Sino-American Relations: Asian Security Abstract This article analyzes Sino-American relations using three strands of international relations scholarship–internal stability, trade expectations, and military perception. There has been no attempt to date to explore the stability of Sino-American relations in the context of linkage between them. This study argues that political and economic interactions of the two major powers provide reasons to be optimistic that the relations will stay relatively stable. Although there is a significant amount of mistrust between Beijing and Washington on military and cyber matters, deterrence is largely at work at the highest level of interactions.

Beidou: China’s alternative to GPS reviewed in report for US Congressional commission | gbtimes.com The report produced by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission finds that Beidou has security, economic and diplomatic implications for the United States, though poses no inherent risks to US smartphone users. // Comment: The report

獨家内幕:刘亚洲上将免职导火索是白灵、拿下理由是贪腐、根源是政治错误,免职或许只是噩运开始 | 博聞社 Comment: Fun fun Boxun story saying Gen Liu Yazhou fall triggered by Bai Ling, really about “political errors”, no idea if true  //  博聞社日前獨家披露,中共此波軍隊高層大調整,47名中將以上軍官被去職或調職,其中包括還沒有到退休之齡的國防大學政委、前國家主席李先念女婿劉亞洲上將。劉亞洲作為曾經紅極一時的中共高級將領,突然去職引起外界高度關注。 博聞社從軍方知情人士獲悉,刘亚洲上将这次被免,拿下理由是贪腐、根源是政治错误,而導火索卻與前不久中共高調宣傳的紀念紅軍長徵勝利80週年有關。


AnchorTECH AND MEDIA *

Can Huawei Catch Apple and Samsung?-Fortune It’s a 170,000-employee company with $61 billion in sales, selling telecom equipment in 170 countries. Since 2014 it has been No. 1 globally in sales of the networking equipment that underpins telecommunication systems, taking the crown from Sweden’s Ericsson. And now its goal is to dominate the market for the phones themselves. It has taken big strides toward doing just that in China and in growing swaths of Europe—helped in those Western countries by side deals with wireless carriers that have not previously been reported.

Xiaomi Pictures Beats a Retreat from Filmmaking – China Film Insider The company is paring back its involvement in filmmaking from production and marketing to just investing as the device maker refocus on its core business.

Hugo Barra is leaving Xiaomi to lead up Facebook’s (NASDAQ: FB) VR efforts — Quartz bringing along his understanding of hardware manufacturing and distribution as well as his background in software. Prior to his role at Xiaomi, Barra was Google’s vice president of product management for Android.

Apple sues Qualcomm in Beijing seeking 1 billion yuan | Reuters Apple Inc filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm Inc in Beijing, alleging the chip supplier abused its clout in the chip industry and seeking 1 billion yuan ($145.32 million) in damages, Beijing’s Intellectual Property Court said in a statement on Wednesday.

How WeChat bots are running amok | VentureBeat | Bots | by Eva Xiao Cara’s maker sent the bot’s WeChat name to users she matched with on Momo, before letting it loose on the Chinese messaging app. “The whole idea is to get the hongbao,” Matthew explains, using the Chinese word for red envelope, the way to gift cash on WeChat. “As soon as the hongbao’s out, it’s collected immediately.”

How WeChat Founder’s Obsession With QR Codes Reshapes Chinese Internet – WSJ probably no one has stretched QR codes’ potential as much as WeChat founder Allen Zhang. Calling the smartphone “the third hand for humans,” Mr. Zhang said in a public speech last month that scanning the codes is an intuitive way for WeChat users to explore the world. He mentioned QR codes 22 times in a 90-minute speech.


AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

WangShiWei: The Buried Writer (English Version) – YouTube Comment: documentary, free on Youtube

Shanghai Migrant Workers Told to Vacate ‘Urban Village’ | Sixth Tone Newly posted relocation notices have instructed the nearly 3,000 migrant residents of Zhayin Village, one of Shanghai’s few remaining “urban villages,” to move out by the end of the month, just in time for Chinese New Year.

Xishuangbanna in a property boom as Beijing chokes on smog | South China Morning Post Yunnan is the new alternative to Hainan, attracting property buyers desperate to find a refuge from the toxic smog that smothers northern China every winter

Sinica Podcast: Sidney Rittenberg on solitary confinement and more Sidney Rittenberg is a labor activist from Charleston, South Carolina, who went to China as a translator for the U.S. Army in 1945 and stayed until 1980. In this episode, Sidney talks about the conditions he endured during his two periods of solitary confinement, Sino-American relations, the behavior of Russian advisers sent to China by the Soviet Union, and much more. Part one of our interview is here.

Ramsey Clark – a life of indomitable courage – talks with Jeff J. Brown on China Rising Radio Sinoland 170120 Jeff also asks Ramsey if he supports communism, through his relationship with the Worker’s World Party, a question Jeff had not heard Ramsey get asked in other venues. Listen to his answer and see for yourself if Ramsey is a communist.

Dating Guide for Communist Party Members – China Real Time Report – WSJ The “Blind Date Guidebook for Communist Party Members” was posted by Nanchang Municipal Government on its verified Weibo social media platform Jan.19. The post was later removed without explanation, and Nanchang officials didn’t respond to requests for comment. But the guidebook has been reposted by several Chinese media outlets, and cached versions are still accessible in cyberspace.

China issues guidelines to preserve traditional culture-Xinhua The central government has issued guidelines on preserving and developing excellent traditional culture, eyeing a “marked boost” in the international influence of Chinese culture by 2025. The guidelines, which were jointly issued by the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and the General Office of the State Council, have been designed to preserve and carry forward various forms of traditional arts and Chinese culture.

Chinese scroll mounting at Chinese New Year – The British Museum Blog We have recently witnessed a real surge of interest in the traditional methods of conserving Chinese paintings over in China, and as a result, our Senior Conservator of Chinese Paintings and Master Scroll Mounter, Jin Xian Qiu, has been inundated with publicity requests asking about her work here in the British Museum as well as the amazing story of how she came from Shanghai to London 30 years ago, bringing Chinese scroll mounting techniques to a European institution for the first time.

This Chinese Soccer Team Is Worth More Than AC Milan – Bloomberg A recent investment in Chinese soccer team Beijing Guoan pegs the value of the club at more than $800 million, putting it on par with some of the best teams in the West, including seven-time European champion AC Milan.


AnchorAGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *

How Chinese Science Could Lead to a Tastier Tomato – China Real Time Report – WSJ In a paper to be published in the upcoming edition of the journal Science, a team of researchers describe a “genetic roadmap” to help commercial growers reverse a decades-long trend toward big, robust tomatoes that taste like nothing. The study discovered genes for chemicals that had previously been shown to improve tomato flavor–a critical finding for breeding more flavorful tomatoes. The research project was led by University of Florida horticulturalist Harry Klee, one of the world’s foremost tomato experts, along with Sanwen Huang, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences who ranks as one China’s most distinguished plant geneticists.

Drones Lure Young Chinese Back to Farming | Sixth Tone As agriculture grows more high-tech, an entrepreneurial spirit draws the children of Xinjiang’s farmers back to their childhood homes.


AnchorFOOD AND TRAVEL *

Foods for a Chinese New Year feast – Los Angeles Times Typical Chinese New Year foods are a mixture of tradition, superstition and edible puns and homophones. Each dish carries symbolic meaning, and they are eaten with the hopes of increasing the family’s fortune, health and prosperity.

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